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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

YOGA AND ALCHEMY                          211

the pill region below. Wait until you can no longer hold the breath
and then let it out gradually, taking care to make it absolutely noise-
less. After an even respiration has been established, turn your tongue
about inside the mouth to stimulate the circulation of saliva, but
do not swallow it. Repeat the above three times. After the third
expelling of the breath, swallow the saliva while bending your head,
and send it down to the pill region with some force, so that the
saliva goes down with a gurgle. Repeat this again three times
so that you swallow the saliva three times in nine periods of hold-
ing the breath. Then rub with both hands the inside of the arch
of your feet, the pill region, and the back and the waist until they
feel hot. Massage slowly without quickening your breath, but you
may perspire slightly. Then massage your eyes and ears and face
and neck with both hands until they are very hot, and rub down
the right and left of your nose five to seven times. Comb your hair
over a hundred times and lie down with the hair untied, and sleep
until dawn."

The swallowing of saliva is based upon the following physiological
speculations, which are closely connected with Taoist cosmogony of
Five Elements, and sound to us fantastic. But to a believer in this
cosmogony it made sense. In his "Second Essay on Conservatism of
3bafe", one of the most difficult essays to read intelligently, Su Tungpo
Interpreted satisfactorily an extremely difficult ancient passage about
"making the dragon in the body come up through the fire" and "the
Itiger in the body go down through the water". Su Tungpo observed
liat we are burning up energy all the time, mainly in two forms: (i)
•fire, which includes all emotional disturbances, such as anger, chagrin,
love, sorrow, etc., and (2) water, which includes perspiration, tears,
and excreta. In Taoist cosmogony the element of fire is represented by
the term "tiger", while the element of water is represented by the
term "dragon". The organ representing or controlling fire is the heart,
while the organ representing the water principle is the kidneys.
According to Su Tungpo, fire represents the righteous spirit; therefore,
when a man's heart is in control of the body, his actions tend to be
jgood. On the other hand, a man tends to become immoral if his
-functions are controlled by the kidneys, which in Chinese usage of
the word include the sexual organs.* When the kidneys take control of
trie body, then we are subject to all kinds of animal desires: then "the
dragon comes out in the water", which means destruction of our vital
spirit. In another direction, we are subject to other emotional dis-

* The Chinese Taoists cultivated, among other secret arts, the art of love-
making and some claimed extraordinary sexual vigor. They believed in stimulation
of sex hormones plus mental control. In Tongpo's circle, Chang Lei was the one
who believed in it.